Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shannon Stacey's No Place to Hide

Today, I finished reading my first title by Shannon Stacey, “No Place to Hide.” This is the 4th book in the Devlin Group series.  After reading this book, all I can say is OMG!!!!  I have found another series to start collecting and reading.  I am looking forward to seeing what other series Shannon Stacey has been writing as well.

I was first introduced to this book when I read a review on the Nerd Girl blog. I am always on the lookout for new-to-me authors. As I read her thoughts on the book, I knew that this would end up being a series that I might enjoy. In her review, she mentioned that the books would look great on the shelf with her KGI series by Maya Banks, I was hooked. Now, I knew that I had to read this book.

Knowing that Nerd Girl mentioned the KGI series, I was a little hesitant. I wanted to read the book, but I absolutely love the KGI series and I knew I would be holding this new book to that standard. I determined that I would keep an open mind and started reading.

Within the first few pages, the book had me. I no longer thought about the KGI comparison and was thoroughly absorbed into the story. The characters are well written and I immediately connected with them. I am a sucker for male characters who are a combination of a total badass and the smart-ass humor.

One issue that I knew I might have going into the story was the fact that there is previous history with the male and female lead characters. They were introduced in the previous book and their relationship was left unfinished. (Think Bacall and Bogard on the tarmac at the end of the classic movie, Casablanca.) What I found however was that this book, while a part of a series, can stand alone. There are just that right amount of references to the past that you don't feel like you are coming into a conversation halfway through.

Jack Donovan is a very strong male lead. Total badass, but you get the feeling that he is losing interest in what he does. He has been out of sorts ever since he came back from a mission in Africa a year before this story begins. On that mission, he had rescued Isabelle Arceneau from guerillas that had kidnapped and held her captive for 2 years. During their time together, Jack and Isabelle developed feelings for each other. In the end, Jack walked away from Isabelle leaving both without any closure.

This story picks up a year after Isabelle's rescue. She has begun feeling strong again after dealing with the emotional aftermath from her time in captivity. Suddenly, a new danger has come to her door. She has become the target of an unknown assassin. Out of desperation, Isabelle calls the one person that she trusts to help her....Jack Donovan.

The story takes you on the action packed journey of Jack and Isabelle as they try to stay one step ahead of the assassin. It is no ordinary threat being made towards Isabelle. This assassin is a person of legend who has never failed in completing a job. He is a ghost with no name who is only known by his execution weapon of choice, a very rare antique Russian gun. While trying to find out who the assassin is and why Isabelle has become a target, they struggle to come to terms with the unfinished business of their past.

It would be so easy to have Isabelle be written as a fragile woman in this story, but she is far from it. I love that Shannon Stacey wrote Isabelle to be a strong woman who faces the danger without totally falling apart. She is by no means a shrinking violet in this story. Isabelle has survived living in a personal hell during her captivity and has come out all the stronger. She has her moments of temporarily being unnerved, but I thoroughly loved watching her character's transformation. When push comes to shove, she has no problem protecting herself and facing the ultimate danger.

Underneath this story's action of dodging bullets and narrow escapes, is a story of the love between Jack and Isabelle. Jack is a conflicted soul. He loves Isabelle but is not willing to bring her into the life he lives. He wants her to always be safe and doesn't see how he can make that happen for her if they pursue the relationship. So, he spends a lot of time pushing her away emotionally. Isabelle knows that Jack is the one for her and is willing to fight for him. In the midst of danger, they finally come to grips with their feelings for each other.

Now, Jack has even more on the line in protecting Isabelle. With bullets flying and danger fast on their heels, how will Jack keep Isabelle alive....when there is No Place to Hide?

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